Today, despite it being only hours before the big princess party (don’t even ASK how that happened), we ran the Family Mile, one of the races taking place in conjunction with the Health and Fitness Expo, a state-wide effort to get people to exercise.

The mile circled the Capitol Building. As we waited (we being me, the girls, and their dad–he organized this outing), I asked Emily if she wanted to run or walk the mile.

“Run!” she shouted. We looked down at Elizabeth, already jauntily tugging at her non-couture chicken t-shirt advertising the race, and wondered if this was a good idea.

The race started at 10:30 as we chased costumed figures depicting a giant chicken and a blue bear. The first quarter mile was extremely uphill. Eliza did all right for about 200 yards, huffing and shaking her blonde hair, then declared, “I feel the need for a drink of water.”

We assured her water was coming at the end, and I swung her up on my hip and we kept running. We passed some people; others passed us. About halfway through the mile I handed her over to her dad and Emily and I ran together. We decided to run fast and sprinted a good bit, passing all but the first kids who had dashed unencumbered the whole race. We slowed and let Dad and Elizabeth catch up and I carried Elizabeth for the rest of the race. No other parents were carrying their kids and also trying to actually run the race, so about a bazillion pictures were taking of me and my blonde baggage.

Despite lugging a 4-year old for almost the entire length of the race, the four of us finished in under ten minutes, coming in the top quarter. The girls got their medals and a hug from the big chicken, and we went on to the rest of our day.

Coming up: the princess party. Got another RSVP this morning! Nuts! Sewing one more tutu…cutting jello jigglers in the shape of hearts, and finalizing the castle. Whew!

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